AN UNKNOWN MALE By Nicolas Obregon


He is a completely unremarkable man.

Who wears the same black suit everyday.

Boards the same train to work each morning

And arrives home to his wife and son each night.

But he has a secret.

He likes to kill people.


This is normally the type of book I would enjoy and read without looking up from the page, but there was just something for me personally that just didn’t work, I’m not sure it was. Could possibly be the translation. But I’m not sure. However I am sure there will be many people out there that read this and think it’s great.

The story is quite a dark one, it’s certainly not a cozy mystery story so if that’s what you are looking for this is definitely not it. This is not a book for the faint hearted. There are some graphic scenes of mutilation and torture. Set in the underbelly of Tokyo, a young girl is found dead in a love hotel. The investigators on the case are two disgraced officers one is English Lynch and the other is Japanese Iwata. They are both good investigators, but they are also both good a blurring the lines a little.

But then you have Mr Soto, who seems like a normal man, he is married and they have one child, he goes to work, comes home to the family, nothing unusual there. But he has a darker side, he has a secret, he likes to abduct, keep, torture and kill. Not the nice family man he portrays to his family. He is not a nice man at all. what makes this worse is the fact that you think of him as a normal man, it’s scary that it could just be your neighbour going of to his work.

I didn’t quite gel with the characters obviously not Mr Soto, but non of the others either. it is at times gripping but disturbing. The first Japanese noir that I have seen and read. I enjoyed the descriptions of Japan and life in Tokyo taking out Mr Soto and the other things going on. It is well written but I think bits just didn’t flow smoothly because of the translation.

If like gritty, gruesome Japanese noir then this maybe a book for you.

I will give this ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ out of ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

I would like to thank #Netgalley and #Penguinpublishers for an eARC of this book in exchange for an honest, fair and unbiased review.


British born of a Spanish father and a French mother, Nicolas Obregon grew up between London and Madrid. As a travel writer, Nicolas has had an extensive experience of Japan, but the beginning of his fascination with the country came from watching Japanese cartoons as a young boy. Nicolas is a graduate of the acclaimed Birkbeck Creative Writing Masters course and a former bookseller for Waterstones. His first novel was Blue Light Yokohama. He lives in Los Angeles.

2 thoughts on “AN UNKNOWN MALE By Nicolas Obregon

  1. No, I don’t think it would be your cup of tea, it wasn’t really mine to be honest, sometimes we pick these books not really realising what the full story is, I’m learning to be a little more selective now. I have ploughed through some books that I would normally have put down after about 100 pages, but feel I have to finish to give a review on netgalley, if it was a book I had purchased I wouldn’t have finished it.


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